PTs force police action against DCs in Brazil
By Maria DiDanieli
The fight for chiropractic in Brazil took an ugly turn on the
evening of Thursday, June 26 when the federal police, acting upon a complaint
from physiotherapy (PT) leaders,
challenged visiting doctors of chiropractic from the Palmer Colleges Clinics Abroad for being
engaged illegally in the practice of physiotherapy.
The Palmer team was in Florianopolis,
Santa Catarina in the south of Brazil,
accompanied by members of the Brazilian Chiropractors’ Association (ABQ), and
was interrupted as members were giving humanitarian chiropractic services to
patients in a public school in a poor local community.
“The police say they acted because of persistent calls
that day from the president and lawyer for the local branch of the COFFITO (the
regulatory body for PT),“ says ABQ President Dr. Juliana Piva of Rio de Janeiro. “The
police arrived with media reporters organized by the COFFITO, and that evening
there were print and internet stories about the raid.”
Protesting, patients were taken from adjusting tables,
and then Palmer and Brazilian DCs and students were escorted to the police
station. However, after intervention by ABQ lawyer Antonio Castagna Maia, a
full explanation and a visa check showing all was in order, the federal police
were satisfied and released the group.
“We have had many Clinic Abroad trips in recent years as
part of Palmer’s partnership with both the ABQ and the School of Chiropractic
at Feevale University, but never a problem until now”, reports Palmer Program
Leader Lori Curry.
The reason for difficulty now has to do with the fact
that , in Brazil, the physiotherapy
profession is in the process of an increasingly aggressive campaign to have
chiropractic declared a specialty of physiotherapy by law in Brazil.
“It is a response to recent litigation against PT leaders
promoted by us to protect the independent status of chiropractic,” adds ABQ
President and Palmer graduate, Dr Ricardo Fujikawa. “The
real battle has now begun.”
The drafted chiropractic law promoted by the ABQ has
passed all committee hearings, and is awaiting a final vote before the Camara,
or legislature. Meanwhile, some PT leaders have been providing and supporting
short – 300 hours – technique courses, for PTs, and graduating these PTs with a
certificate in chiropractic. The goal is rapid creation of a chiropractic
specialty in Brazil.
The Brasilian lawyer and consultants retained by the ABQ
prosecutors at the Ministerio Publico, a government
watchdog agency for issues of public interest and safety, to take legal
proceedings against the PT leaders who are promoting the inadequate
postgraduate chiropractic courses for PTs on grounds of misrepresentation and
public safety – these proceedings were launched last month.
For more information, please visit www.wfc.org